Remote and Agile Working: leading the way

Spectrum is one of the earliest adopters of Remote and Agile Working (RAW) in prisons – a system which provides remote support to GPs, nurses and Advanced Practitioners and can significantly reduce pressures for on-site staff. Developed in 2016, Spectrum’s first pilot project focussed on providing clinical administrative support to prison staff to alleviate pressure on their time.

Pilot project

Spectrum first piloted a remote Telemedicine service in HMP Lancaster Farms from June 2019 – January 2020. The pilot provided secure online consultations to 110 patients with a qualified GP facilitated by a member of the onsite team, in order to improve access to primary care for patients in the prison.

The pilot proved successful, with the majority of consultations (90 per cent) effectively managed online; those which had to be rebooked were due to the need for a physical examination. Patients said that they were equally happy to be seen online as they were face to face and rated it as the same, or better, than a face-to-face consultation.

Since 2019, Spectrum’s team of four Remote and Agile GPs has provided a range of support to 13 secure estates in the North of England. After the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the RAW team became crucial – providing the optimum care for patients and significantly reducing patient risk due to a delay in care.

  • As the RAW team works flexibly, it can provide quickly where there is the greatest need, for example due to staff illness and heavy workload.
  • A regular morning peer support meeting has proved invaluable to our GPs, nurses and Advanced Nurse Practitioners who have found themselves working remotely
  • The RAW team has also supported a two-week community primary care mental health pilot project and provided remote support to the Tieve Tara Medical Centre since Autumn 2019.
Helen Bishton alternative A

Spotlight on success

Helen, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), won the “Nurse of the Year” award in 2020 for her work introducing ANP clinics in the North West prisons estate. She was the first Spectrum nurse to access ANP training ‘on the job’ and now works across our North West Prisons estate.

Read more here